According to Enbridge’s application for the Northern Gateway Pipeline the company expects a staggering 217% growth in tar sands production by 2035. If built, the Enbridge pipeline would provide the landlocked tar sands with a high-capacity thoroughfare to deliver diluted bitumen, or dilbit, to Asian markets.
But with mounting opposition to the pipeline gaining stride in British Columbia, some analysts speculate the project, embroiled in environmental and political concerns, has no more than a 50/50 chance of completion within the next decade.
With a community of academics, political groups, environmental organizations, local residents and First Nation communities vocalizing their opposition to the project, Enbridge is looking elsewhere for an export escape route for tar sands crude.
DeSmog’s Ben Jervey reported this summer on an Enbridge application to revise old plans to construct the Trailbreaker, a pipeline designed to deliver tar sands oil to the Atlantic coast. The project would reverse the flow of two aging light crude pipelines in order to direct dilbit through Ontario and Quebec, along the shores of New England, and out to the coast of Portland, Maine.